20 July 2014

How is Science Fiction for you these days?

In the past twenty years or so science fiction has come a long way, in the movies anyway, but in books? I'm not so sure that it has, to be honest. Some really cool sci-fi movies have been made, Elysium and Oblivion are two examples that I thought were good films, but their basic premise was the same old stuff that we're being handed in so many recent books as well. That is a 'dystopian' concept of a ruined Earth and the hardships that it's inhabitants endure. I see there is a movie called Interstellar being released later this year that exhibits a similar story from what I can ascertain from the trailer. Now, I'm sure it's going to be an okay movie, but come on, haven't we had enough of this sort of stuff? Where is the hope and the excitement of possibilities?

It's not a foregone conclusion that the future is going to be bad for Earth or for us citizens. I also love the idea that we could discover habitable planets outside our solar system and maybe even other intelligent species with which to interact (hopefully peacefully), but more for the joy of wonder that it brings than the need to abandon our homeworld. I'm hoping that the outcome of the previously mentioned Interstellar movie will deliver some of this optimism. The movie Europa Report touched on the wonder of discovery somewhat even though the ending wasn't all that positive.

The same issue has often led me to the question "Is sci-fi getting better or worse as it gets older?" I'm referring more to the literary field, but the same question applies to all sci-fi mediums. I know that many others have been considering this as well and even writing some great essays on the subject. One I read recently is this article by well-known science fiction author Allen M Steele from a recent Asimov's Science Fiction magazine. Here, Steele addresses where sci-fi literature has come from, it's 'golden age' and where it appears to be heading.

It's interesting to note that science fiction has generally been a reflection of the general feeling of the society of the day from which it was produced. That being the case, are we that negative and pessimistic about our future? If so, I truly hope that this view changes and that more imaginative and wondrous sci-fi gets written for us dreamers. We may even discover other worlds and intelligent life out there.

That would be awesome.

Andromeda galaxy

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